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Presenting Animal Presents

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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Presenting Animal Presents

The Chida[1] writes that one must be concerned about fulfilling the mitzva of Matnos Kehuna because they answered R’ Yaakov of Marvege[2] from heaven[3] that it is a sin not to do it.[4]


The Vilna Gaon[5] would slaughter a calf and give the foreleg, jaw with the tongue and maw[6] to the kohen and say a shehechiyanu. When he gave the Matnos Kehuna to the kohen he instructed him to carry it publicly in order to publicize it.

מורשת מכירות פומביות. שמן על בד - תואר זיו פניו של רבינו החתם סופר זי"ע -  חתום ומקורי

The Chassam Sofer[7] writes, “I was accustomed to give Matnos Kehuna — foreleg, jaw and the maw — to my brother-in-law who was married to a kohenes.[8] Also, each Yom Tov I would shecht an animal and separate Matnos Kehuna from it. I would do the same with Reishis Hagaiz, the first of the flock’s shearing.”[9]

[1] Machzik Bracha, Yoreh Deah, 61:23.

[2] Shu”t Min Hashamayim, 73. He was one of the Baalei Tosafos. In this sefer, he chronicled Halachic responsa he heard from Heaven.

[3] There were tzadikim who undertook certain spiritual preparations and were able to ask specific questions prior to going to sleep and then receive answers in their dreams from Eliyahu or Malachim. This method is known as sheilas chalom, dream question. A reference to this is found inוישאל שאול בה’ ולא ענהו ה’ גם בחלומות גם באורים גם בנביאים  (Shmuel 1, 28:6), Shaul inquired of Hashem but Hashem didn’t answer him; neither in a dream, nor through the Urim V’tumim nor through the prophets. (See the Redak and the Ralbag there. See also the Ibn Ezra to Shemos 14:19 and Rabbeinu Bachaye to Devarim 29:28.)

[4] See Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 61:21.

[5] Maaseh Rav, 103.

[6] See Devarim 18:3.

[7] Shu”t Chassam Sofer, Yoreh Deah, 301, see the Kresi Upleisi 61:6.

[8] See Chullin 132a. You can give them to a kohenes even if she is married to a Yisrael. One who gives it to her husband who is a Yisrael fulfills the mitzva of giving it — Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 61:8.

[9] See Devarim 18:4.


Writer of the weekly Fascinating Insights Torah sheet in Englishעברית ,אידיש and français
Author of Six Books including the recently released “Dazzling Money Insights: Illuminating Torah Essays about Money”

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